I froze about 20 lbs too many whole tomatoes last year. I noted this fact a couple of weeks ago as I was making room in the freezer for a few more bags of 2019 rhubarb and a flat of ruby red local strawberries. Here we were, starting to eat our first fresh tomatoes, sun-warmed and straight off the vines, and a bunch of last year’s frozen ones still hanging around. Hmmmm, what to do with them??
Give them to the chickens was my first thought. It’s handy having a flock of hungry omnivores in the barnyard, nothing even remotely edible goes to waste around here. But I still prefer to feed people food to people first if at all possible. So I pushed the problem to the back of my mind where it could stew for a while, and got on with life.
A few days later, I had it! Ketchup! We were almost at the bottom of our current bottle, so the timing was good too.
I’ve been buying organic ketchup for as long as it has been available. It was the first organic product I splashed out on back in the day. I figure that the tomatoes had best be pesticide-free when they hit the kettle, since any residues would only concentrate during processing. It’s expensive though. So I was pretty chuffed at my genius idea.
Good old Google gave me a million recipes; I combined a couple and after two days of simmering followed by two days of dark closet fermenting I had a nice stash of homegrown organic fermented tomato ketchup. Full of probiotics and with a delicious zingy taste, fermented ketchup aids digestion too. It even achieved the DH stamp of approval.
My ketchup will keep for six months in the fridge, longer if frozen. One jar for each daughter and one and a half for us is just about perfect. And 20 pounds of last year’s tomatoes transformed into deliciousness is the icing on the cake.